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Old 12-01-2013, 04:54 AM   #188
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2014 Chevrolet SS
A classic formula, thoroughly modernized.
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Now that the government’s stake in GM is below five percent, the automaker is launching new models with giddy abandon. That’s especially true at Chevrolet, where the lineup runs from the vest-pocket Spark to the garage-busting Suburban with a generous helping of performance models in the meaty middle.

The newest bow-tie brawler, Chevy’s SS, is a classic V-8, rear-drive performance model for enthusiasts needing more doors, seat space, and trunk room than offered by the Camaro and Corvette. Built in Australia and based on similar underpinnings used for the GM’s previous thunder from Down Under, the beloved Pontiac G8, the SS is convincing evidence that bailing GM out of its 2009 bankruptcy was a shrewd move.

Like the architecturally similar Camaro, the SS has unibody construction supported by front struts and a multilink rear suspension. The SS’s 114.8-inch wheelbase is 2.5 inches longer than the Camaro’s and 3.7 inches shorter than that of the Caprice PPV cop cruiser. Thanks to reasonably tidy overhangs, a reverse-kinked quarter-window, and impressive design restraint, Chevy’s performance flagship convincingly mimics the BMW 5-series Pontiac targeted with the G8 just before that brand slipped over the abyss.

In sync with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in which SS-badged sleds compete, there’s a V-8 under the hood that borders on bawdy. It burbles at idle, howls to its 6000-rpm redline, and revs to its 6600-rpm fuel cutoff in spite of the pushrods that operate two large valves per cylinder. Because the SS is powered by an LS3 V-8 instead of the Corvette’s new LT1 engine, GM’s newer technologies—variable cam timing, direct fuel injection, and cylinder shutdown—don’t live here. As a result, the EPA brands the SS a gas guzzler and adds a $1300 tax to the $44,470 window sticker.

Actually, that’s a modest stipend considering the acceleration packed into this family hauler. Thanks to its relatively svelte 3931-pound curb weight, sticky Bridgestone Potenza RE050A tires, and easy-to-launch six-speed automatic transmission, the 415-hp SS sprints to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and through the quarter-mile in 12.9 seconds at 111 mph. That’s comparable to the quickest stick-shift Camaros we’ve tested and only half a second or so behind the illustrious C7 Corvette. While it would be interesting to see if a manual transmission might help the SS’s drag-race potential, that alternative is not part of this low-volume program.

Take solace in the knowledge that the SS handles like a Camaro on pain meds. The Bridgestones hug the earth to the tune of 0.95 g, body roll is nicely restrained, and there’s just a touch of understeer at the adhesion limit. Thanks to dampers that may have been pilfered from a BMW factory, the SS never falls apart over imperfect pavement. It jogs with a supple stride and, except for tread noise over patches and expansion joints, is a model of refined comportment. The body structure is solid and rattle-free, while the electrically assisted power steering is calibrated for quick turn-in and a linear rise in effort. The 153-foot fade-free stopping distance from 70 mph is only two-thirds of a car length greater than the best C7 Corvette performance we’ve measured.

In past Chevrolet instances, as soon as the focus shifted away from go, stop, and turn, our enthusiasm often faded. The SS is an exception to that rule. The heated and ventilated front seats are appropriately bolstered to combine ample grip with a thorough range of rake and backrest adjustment. There’s a proper dead pedal and the plastic shift paddles are ribbed for a satisfying feel. The mix of perforated leather, gray suede, red stitching, and minimal hard plastic wouldn’t be uncouth in a Cadillac. The polished-aluminum center stack and steering wheel accents are the only touches that strike us as over the top. Also, it’s a pity that the SS missed out on the rising touch screen that reveals a secret storage cubby in some other Chevy sedans.

The Chevy MyLink center stack includes an eight-inch touch screen, OnStar communications, navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, satellite radio, and a nine-speaker Bose sound system as standard fare. A handy head-up display shows engine rpm, car speed, compass heading, lateral acceleration, or ambient temperature. This is the first bow-tie model to provide automatic parking assist. The list of safety gear includes a back-up camera; front, rear, and side traffic alerts; and a lane-departure warning. Brembo fixed-caliper front brakes, coolers for the engine and transmission, forged-aluminum wheels, and a limited-slip differential are also standard.

The Chevy SS seals the deal with a real back seat that two adults or three children can use without whining. The center portion of the backrest folds to haul lumber and pipe purchases back to the ranch from home-improvement stores.

A few thousand SSs will neither make nor break GM or Chevrolet but, considering its amiable, well-rounded personality, we’re glad the General went to the bother of importing this sports sedan. If we’re really lucky, there will someday be a successor with an LT1 and a manual transmission.
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Old 12-01-2013, 05:13 AM   #189
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Aesthetics wise... It looks nice inside but that's it, doesn't look anything special besides that looks like a Malibu.
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Old 12-01-2013, 08:45 AM   #190
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Aesthetics wise... It looks nice inside but that's it, doesn't look anything special besides that looks like a Malibu.

And it should, the designer is the same for both cars ...
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Old 12-01-2013, 04:04 PM   #191
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2014 Chevrolet SS Review
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A ghost is haunting Woodward Avenue late on a Saturday night, disturbing the silence that stretches all the way from downtown Detroit through the economic wasteland near Hamtramck to the slumbering suburbs above 8 Mile. Few cars are on the road. A Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution heading northwest around Pontiac is clearly just going home, and yet its driver can't resist the challenge when an unfamiliar-looking large sedan rolls up next to him in a low gear. He takes off hard at the next stoplight and probably thinks he's escaped when it comes up behind him, roaring and pulling hard past his front fender at 80 mph. This happens three or four times until he finally lowers his window, astonished, and asks, "What is that thing?" It's the 2014 Chevrolet SS -- a big, rear-wheel-drive Chevrolet sedan with a 415-hp V-8. It's a ghost.

In its heyday, the V-8 Chevy dominated straight, wide boulevards like these. Chevrolet introduced the small-block V-8 for 1955 and immediately stuffed it into its bread-and-butter full-size cars. The cherry red Bel Air that Mike Helfrich drove to our photo shoot in Detroit's Eastern Market would have cost about $2000 when new, roughly $17,500 in today's money. No wonder Chevy sold some 740,000 V-8-powered vehicles that first year. It's worth noting that the 265-cubic-inch engine put out only 162 to 180 hp, just as it's worth remembering that radial tires, airbags, and stability control are nice things to have. But that's beside the point. In 1955, a Chevrolet was one of the most powerful and stylish cars on the market, and almost anyone could afford one.

Not everyone will be able to afford a 2014 Chevrolet SS. Chevrolet is importing it from Australia, where a strong currency and high labor costs drive up the price. Unlike the Pontiac G8, the SS's direct predecessor, the Chevy will not offer a base V-6. The only specification is roughly equivalent to a loaded G8 GXP. The spacious, well-equipped interior will seat five real people, and the 16.4-cubic-foot trunk will happily swallow enough luggage for a long road trip. Of course, the key measure here is horsepower per dollar. The 6.2-liter LS3 V-8, virtually the same engine the G8 GXP used, connects to the rear wheels via a 3.27:1 axle. Chevy says the big sedan will hit 60 mph in five seconds. At any speed, it has that eager, straining-at-the-leash feel unique to cars with a powerful normally aspirated engine. The price for such preparedness is putrid fuel economy -- 14 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway. However, what you get is a $45,000 Chevy sedan that'll go toe-to-toe with a $65,000 BMW 550i or, for that matter, with a two-door sports car like the Camaro SS.

Chevrolet drivers could go toe-to-toe with just about anything in the early 1960s. By then, the Corvette (nearly canceled in '55) was coming into its own as a world-class sports car. And yet it still seemed natural and proper that the baddest Chevrolet be based on the one that most people bought. And so, for an extra $376.65 -- a hefty chunk of change back then -- an Impala Super Sport buyer could opt for the 409-hp, 409-cubic-inch big-block V-8 that was winning on NASCAR ovals and NHRA drag strips. Today, John Schraufnagel's 1962 Impala SS, suffering from a failing starter, rode to Detroit on a trailer. The 409 coughs to life as it pulls into position for photos, settling into a rat-a-tat race idle that translates to, "I wasn't built to sit for photos."

But it does look good in them. The design has the understated elegance of the early Bill Mitchell era. Like the '55, it seems to tell the world that a Chevrolet owner deserves the best. The new SS, in contrast, makes do with a pastiche of five-year-old design clichés -- bubbly headlamps, fender gills, and a pinched Bangle butt. That said, people seem to like it. Helfrich, the owner of the '55, finds it "aggressive," calling out the nineteen-inch wheels and the piano-black-accented front fascia. A butcher at the end of a night shift walks over for a closer look and gives us his number in case we ever want a ride in his Pontiac GTO Judge.

The 409 was the apogee of full-size Chevrolet muscle. The performance war of the 1960s soon shifted toward smaller vehicles like the Chevelle and the Camaro. The fuel-economy wars of the 1970s and '80s only hastened the downsizing trend. By the 1990s, Chevrolet and car buyers had mostly moved on from large, body-on-frame sedans, let alone high-performance variants. And yet, old ideas are tough to kill. A revived Impala SS debuted as a concept at the 1992 Detroit auto show and drew such a reception that General Motors decided to build it. Essentially a police-package Caprice with a slightly lowered suspension, the 1994–96 Impala SS sold reasonably well -- more than 40,000 in the final year, including the 5900-mile example owned since new by Ford (yes, Ford) employee Jim Ledingham. But by then GM, like the rest of the American auto industry, had gotten into the crack cocaine that was the SUV craze. It canned the big Chevy, along with its Oldsmobile, Buick, and Cadillac relatives, to free up production capacity.

As the SS's nearest contemporary in this group, the '90s Impala provides clear evidence of how far the company has advanced. The Impala rides on a frame dating back to 1977 and sends 260 hp through a live rear axle. "Nothing rides like a body-on-frame car," Ledingham asserts. The SS uses the latest version of the Zeta rear-wheel-drive unibody platform -- the Holden Commodore on which it's based underwent a significant refresh for 2013 -- and wears an aluminum hood and trunk lid. Beyond the leap forward in hardware, the 2014 Chevrolet SS benefits from the wholesale improvements in GM products over the last decade -- everything from the interior materials to the weighting of the electric power steering speak to a certain level of competence and know-how. The Impala handled well for a big car. The SS handles well, period -- tons of grip, surprising balance, excellent body control. It actually feels nimbler and easier to place in a corner than the smaller Camaro (the fact that it has real windows helps). Still, the '96 Impala was one of the best GM cars of a depressing era -- and is fast becoming a modern classic -- because it stayed true to Chevrolet's core ideals.

The decades blur as the four cars start up for a short cruise through downtown Detroit. The owners, who hadn't previously known each other but all insure their vehicles through Hagerty, bond over their shared automotive culture. Cars they owned. Cars they always wanted. A long, straight highway entrance ramp in metro Detroit that once served as an illicit drag strip. All express interest in the 2014 Chevrolet SS, although Schraufnagel worries that its fuel economy won't suffice for a daily driver. The rumbling exhaust notes play off each other, and, for a moment, it's easy to imagine how shiny new American cars once burbled up and down Detroit's wide boulevards on clear autumn evenings such as this. Of course, that was a long time ago. Shortly after dinner, the 409 goes back on the trailer (hauled by a late-model Silverado), and the rest of the cars disappear back toward the suburbs.

Don't be deluded into viewing the SS as any kind of return to the golden days. Chevrolet doesn't plan to import more than 4000 of them annually from Australia. For 2013, the SS became Chevy's NASCAR model. Officially, Chevrolet hasn't decided what will follow. "Stay tuned," says Dave Leone, GM's executive chief engineer for global product platforms. Unofficially, it's hard to imagine this car becoming any more of a commercial success than the last two Holden-sourced imports, the Pontiac GTO and G8. To sell more, GM would have to consider relocating production to North America. It would also have to improve fuel economy -- think cylinder deactivation and a transmission with more than six speeds -- so as not to adversely impact the company's CAFE standing. Those things cost money that Chevy would probably rather use to, say, improve its all-important compact and mid-size cars. We get all that. And yet the 2014 Chevrolet SS still haunts us as a reminder of a time when Chevry built powerful, charismatic sedans for the masses.
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Old 12-05-2013, 08:20 PM   #192
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2014 Chevrolet SS review
Your ludicrously big, ludicrously powerful, ludicrously grippy sedan has arrived
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There are several ways you can look at the new Chevrolet SS. I choose to look at it as a gift -- a present from General Motors to American car fans.

No upside?

Consider that GM has absolutely no reason to make this car. In fact, they have plenty of reasons not to make it: The Fed's 54.5 MPG mandate is just down the road, and here comes Chevrolet with a 415 horsepower full-size rear-drive sedan, complete with a 17 MPG combined EPA rating and a $1,300 gas guzzler tax -- perfect fodder for those who like to think that GM is out of touch with American buyers. (They aren't.) Chevy dealers already have 400-plus hp Corvettes and Camaros, and they'll even sell you a 420 horsepower pickup truck. So what have they got to gain by building the SS? Nothing.

Nothing, that is, except the gigantic poo-eating grins this car will put on the faces of gearheads like you and me.

Better than it needs to be

Furthermore, GM has no reason to do a particularly exceptional job. A few years back, The General gave us the Pontiac G8. Like the SS, the G8 was a transplant from GM's Australian lineup (both cars are based on the Holden Commodore; believe it or not, the SS is completely unrelated to Caddy's new ATS and CTS), but the G8 was even more thinly disguised: They even went so far as to cram all of the window and door-lock controls on the center stack so it would be cheaper to convert to left-hand-drive. The G8's interior was dreadful and the styling was dull, but it was fast and loud and wonderful. I've yet to meet a single person who drove the G8 (especially the 400 hp GXP version) and didn't love it.

The new SS is more than a Commodore with a bow tie. Yes, the underpinnings are related to the big Holden, as is much of the styling. But this time, there's a distinctly Chevrolet feel to the car. I'd like to imagine GM dedicating the resources to making the SS look like a proper Chevrolet, but the fact is that most of Holden's lineup is shared with Chevy, so the passing resemblance to the Impala and the Malibu is a happy coincidence. No matter -- the strakes featured on hot-rod Holdens look great on the SS's flanks. This car is subtle and handsome, and provided you go for one of the five colors other than Hey Yo Officer Red, it's almost guaranteed to fly under the radar. (The cops may well be driving the closely-related Caprice Police Pursuit Vehicle, so don't plan on outrunning them.)

Inside, the story is just as happy: The contoured front seats are trimmed with microfiber done up to look like suede, which is also used on the SS-lettered panel ahead of the passenger. Highlights include high-class materials, simple controls, a head-up display that shows speed, tach and nav directions in the windshield, and Chevy's excellent MyLink infotainment system serves as the front end for the Bose stereo. Remember how bad GM interiors used to be? That's how good this one is.

The drive experience: Uh-may-zing

And speaking of the Bad Old Days, I'm old enough to remember when the terms "General Motors" and "driver appeal" were mutually exclusive. Even though I know how good GM's rear-drivers have become, I was still blown away by the SS, the joys of which go well beyond the power and the fury of its 6.2 liter LS3 Corvette engine. (Of which there is plenty -- GM claims a 0-60 time of just under five seconds, and that feels about right.)

But the thrills go beyond straight-line speed -- this is a proper performance car with responsive (if flawed) steering, excellent body control, and massive amounts of grip. Like the bulk of GM's performance cars, this has benign and forgiving nature baked right into the chassis. It's not GM's best; the ride gets choppy on anything but glass-smooth pavement, and the electric power steering could be better -- given the speeds at which this thing can take corners, a bit more feel and feedback would have given me a lot more confidence. Still, the SS will attack turns at sports-car velocity with plenty of composure from the chassis and satisfying noises from the big V8. Like the G8 GXP, it's on par with the previous-generation Corvette (if not quite the new one). Except the Corvette doesn't have a roomy back seat or a 16.4 cubic foot trunk. That said, the Corvette does have a manual transmission, but the SS is automatic only. Not that there isn't plenty of fun to be had with two pedals, but nothing goes with a ridiculously powerful V8 like a ridiculously impractical manual transmission.

Hang on to your hats... and your wallets

If you're waiting for the other shoe to drop, better watch your toes: The SS has a price tag of $47,070 including the destination charge and gas guzzler tax. Yowch.

That said, Chevy does load it up with stuff: Navigation, lane-departure and collision warning, even a self-parking system that works for both parallel and stall spots. The only options are a sunroof ($900) and a full-size spare ($500). So you can't say the SS doesn't deliver value-for-money... but it's a lot of money.

In discussing the SS's price, one of the GM staffers opined that it was a good choice for a young gearheadjust starting a family who wants a Camaro but needs a four-door for his kids. I opined that no such person could afford a $47,000 car, and if he could, he'd get a Camaro and a used Malibu -- after all, who's going to risk letting the kids puke on the pseudo-suede seats? No, this one will be the domain of Chevy guys on at or near retirement age. And you know what? More power to 'em. I'm jealous.

Appeal beyond performance

Clearly, I really enjoyed the SS, but what really made it for me was the realization that I'd like this car even if it wasn't for the performance. It's big, it's comfortable, it's well finished, and it fits nicely into the Chevrolet family. The fact that it has the heart of a Camaro is almost an added bonus.

The Chevrolet SS has plenty of good competitors. The Dodge Charger SRT offers an extra 55 horsepower and is a bit quicker to 60. Same for the Chrysler 300 SRT8, which offers a bit more class for a bit more money. And if money is no object, the Germans can serve you up plenty of power and fury in the form of the BMW M5 and the Mercedes E63 AMG.

Still, I don't think that'll matter much -- this is one for the Chevy fans. General Motors will be importing it in limited numbers from Australia, and I think they'll sell all of them. This is a neat car and a kind favor to car lovers everywhere. Thanks for the favor, GM!
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Old 12-06-2013, 09:16 AM   #193
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Originally Posted by Dyk-NO View Post
Aesthetics wise... It looks nice inside but that's it, doesn't look anything special besides that looks like a Malibu.
Agreed. The inside of the car is gorgeous IMO. GM did a great job on the interior, but the exterior to my eyes screams malibu. IMO the Impala looks more aggressive and sporty than the SS does.
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Old 12-06-2013, 09:57 AM   #194
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but the exterior to my eyes screams malibu.
As SlingShot has stated earlier, the similarities come from being designed by the same guy.
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One of these staff, Justin Thompson, was also exterior lead designer for the more recent VF Commodore development project, and as a result the two vehicles share some design similarities.

In fact the rear end of the Malibu was actually the first iteration of the VF's rear styling, and the frontal design treatments are also similar.

Holden Designers Flex Muscles for Athletic Malibu
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Local designers from Holden Design have played a key role in the styling and development of GM’s global mid-size vehicle, the Holden Malibu.

Overseen by General Motors International Operations Executive Director, Design, Michael Simcoe while he was responsible for Chevrolet Design, the Malibu was heavily influenced by two of Holden’s own design staff while on international assignment in the USA.

Justin Thompson, Exterior Design Manager and Yan Huang, Interior Design Manager were responsible for the exterior and interior styling of Malibu, a car that is sold in almost 100 countries around the world.

Sold as a Chevrolet Malibu in countries outside of Australia and New Zealand, its athletic stance was inspired by Chevrolets of the past, including the Camaro which was also styled by the Holden Design team.

Justin Thompson said the brief for Malibu was to create a car that would stand out in a busy and often bland mid-size segment.

“Medium cars are often criticised for being bland and middle-of-the-road. With Malibu, we wanted to design a car that would stand out from the pack.

“We looked to Chevrolet’s heritage to inspire us for the future and the result is a sporty family sedan that has a lean muscularity and athletic stance.” He said.

Malibu was designed first and foremost to be a Chevrolet vehicle but a Holden version was always in Justin’s mind.

“It’s critical when designing a car for the globe that it will work in multiple markets. As GM has moved to global products, Holden and Chevrolet have shared design themes. The result is a car that looks at home on roads in major cities around the world.”

Most recently Justin Thompson was Exterior Lead Designer for the VF Commodore and says Malibu shares some design highlights with the new locally manufactured large car.

“There are also some fairly deliberate similarities between Malibu and the new VF Commodore. The rear end of Malibu was actually the first iteration of VF styling as we began to work on the VE replacement in the late 2000s. We also ensured that the unique front fascia for the Holden version fitted with the broader portfolio.” Said Justin.

“Having worked on the Malibu several years ago, it’s great to finally see it on Australian roads.”

Yan Huang currently works as a design manager on interiors for GM’s global advanced vehicles. While in the US, she led the interior styling for Malibu.

“The design intent for Malibu’s interior was sporty, sophisticated and easy to live with. The result is a simple, uncluttered interior with plenty of clever storage options,” she said

“The car’s dashboard and instrument panel features flowing horizontal lines from door to door, to make the interior appear wide and create a sense of spaciousness. A chrome bar leads the eye to displays and controls and is supported by soft blue ambient lighting that brings the cockpit to life during night driving.”

Malibu features a host of useful storage. It is the first car in the Holden portfolio to include a hidden storage bin behind the seven-inch touch-screen and a one-litre bottle can be stored in each of the four doors. A pocket on the side console houses a mobile phone while charging and dual cup holders feature in both the console and rear seat armrest.

“The use of materials also plays an important role in delivering an interior with a premium feel. There are plenty of jewel-like details, like the chrome bar across the instrument panel and highlights on the controls and our fabrics include deep animal grain and contrast colour stitching.” Said Yan Huang.

“Malibu is the fourth Holden car to feature the MyLink entertainment system and integrating new technology into cars is a key focus area for interior designers.

“In the Malibu, MyLink centres around a large seven-inch colour touch-screen which is standard in all models. All controls have been designed to be intuitive and easy to use and the system needs to fit within the overall concept of the interior.

“The large touch screen works well with Malibu’s Camaro inspired gauges to create a sporty, premium feel. The result is a great success.”

Designer Biographies:

Justin Thompson, Age 37

PATAC Australia Exterior Design Manager, Shanghai GM China future models

Education

-1994- 1998 Bachelor of Technology (Industrial Design) Monash University
-1997 Semester 5 Chiba University, Chiba Japan

Experience

-1999 Commenced work at Holden Australia
-1999-2002 Monaro, VY Commodore Exterior Design
-2002 -2004 Holden WM Exterior Lead Designer
-2005 Buick LaCrosse theming PATAC Studio China (7 Months)
-2006-2009 General Motors North America 3 year ISP at Warren Michigan Design Studios USA
-2008 Buick Invicta Concept Car Lead Designer
-Buick LaCrosse Lead Designer
-Chevrolet/ Holden Malibu Lead Designer
-2009-2012 MY14 VF Exterior Lead Designer

Yan-hong Huang (Yan), Age 45, Born in Xiamen China

Interior Design Manager, Advanced global products

Education

-1985-1988 Xiamen University(BA-Fine Art),
-1990-1994 RMIT university(BA-Industrial Design)
Experience

-1994 Daewoo Matiz concept car
-1997 aXcess Australia concept car (Australia)
-1998 China Qiling show car (China),
-2002 Buick Centieme show car interior (Italy),
-2003 Buick Lucerne Interior (USA),
-2004 Buick Park Avenue Interior (Australia),
-2012 Malibu interior (USA),
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Old 12-06-2013, 10:00 AM   #195
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no...hell no.
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Old 12-06-2013, 10:28 AM   #196
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2014 Chevrolet SS-LeftLaneNews
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Given how tepid demand was for the Pontiac G8 - at least until the brand was discontinued and enthusiasts snapped them up at deep discounts - you'd think General Motors would be done with its Australian-built, rear-wheel-drive V8-powered performance sedan experiment.

But that's the kind of thinking that GM used to do. Today, GM under North American-market chief Mark Reuss looks at things differently. The automaker has found a way to justify bringing about 4,000 2014 Chevrolet SS sedans onto our shores following almost exactly the same recipe of the G8.

The difference? Instead of shooting for volume with three powertrains, the SS offers just one honkin' 2013 Corvette-sourced 415-horsepower V8 mated exclusively to a six-speed automatic transmission. We'd like to see a stick shift, but GM is probably right in assuming that the take rate wouldn't justify the effort needed to slot such a gearbox into the SS for Americans.

After touring some of Southern California's finest driving roads in the SS, we doubt GM will have a hard time finding around 350 SS buyers a month.

The American super sedan, imported from Australia
Like the G8, the SS is more or less the Australian-market Holden Commodore underneath. Heavily revised earlier this year, the Commodore and the SS continue to ride on GM's rear-drive Zeta architecture (which also underpins the Camaro). The Chevrolet Caprice police cruiser uses a stretched version of the same platform, which helped GM reel in Econ 101's "economies of scale" principles to help ensure the low volume SS isn't a money loser for the bowtie brand.

Changes were made to make the car's structure both lighter and stronger by way of more advanced materials. In profile, the SS is nearly a dead-ringer for the G8. From any other angle, it's a little bland. If you want to ride under the radar, it's just the ticket (to avoid receiving a ticket, that is). We think the G8 was a lot more interesting to look at, however.

Inside, the differences are far more notable. Compared to the G8, which used all sorts of switchgear foreign to GM devotees in the U.S., the SS is a hodge-podge of themes seen elsewhere in GM's American portfolio. There's a lot of Chevrolet Impala to the way the SS looks inside, although we contend that front-wheel-drive Impala generally coddles passengers with slightly nicer materials.

Some hard plastics can be found on the SS, which helps keep its price point at a reasonable $44,470 (plus a less appealing mandatory $1,300 gas guzzler tax). Given the generous equipment - standard features include navigation, heated and ventilated leather/synthetic suede seats, a lane departure warning system, a heads up display and even sensors that help the SS park itself into either a parallel or a perpendicular spot - the SS is actually something of a bargain. The Impala, admittedly a likeable sedan designed to be about as sporty as a bowl of Cheerio's, tops out about $3,000 less. And, just for comparison's sake, the 2009-era G8 GXP listed for a hair over $38,000, but that was five years ago and it lacked many of the SS' niceties.

But nobody is likely to cross-shop the Impala and the SS for one simple reason: The SS is a performance sedan of the highest order.

Chevrolet's fourth-generation LS3 V8 sits underhood, cranking out 415 horsepower and 415 lb-ft. of torque, figures a little shy of the outgoing Corvette that donated this motor as well as its six-speed automatic with paddle shifters. A limited-slip rear differential sends power to the rear wheels and, notably, the stability and traction control systems can be switched off entirely if you're in the mood to destroy rubber.

Zero to 60 mph clicks off in a hair over 4.5 seconds, but perhaps the most impressive figure is the SS' 118 foot 60-0 mph braking distance thanks to its 14-inch Brembo front brakes.

Electric power steering makes the most of this sedan's taut suspension and conventional shock absorbers (GM's trick magnetic struts were a little too spendy).

Stomp the throttle and the SS leaps forward, but not aggressively. Refined and relaxed, it is very clearly the next-generation G8. Not as big of a leap forward as the G8 was over any rear-wheel-drive GM sedan before it, the SS is a little more nimble, its steering responding more quickly to inputs.

Communication from the road feels slightly less tactile in the SS, but the ride - compared to the G8 GXP, in particular - is firm without being punishing.

The SS makes the most of its long wheelbase on the highway, where it is a solid straight line cruiser. Moreover, it's even very quiet - especially considering its 19-inch alloy wheels are shoed with wide Bridgestone summer tires.

But the SS isn't really intended to be a highway cruiser. Certainly not when it sips fuel at a rate of 14/21 mpg (17 mpg combined), which earns it that aforementioned gas guzzler tax. Instead, it has been designed to be driven hard. And at this it excels, tromping its closest rivals - the SRT variants of the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 - at their own game. Those Mopars offer a more bellowing exhaust note, but they feel ponderous on winding roads.

No, the SS isn't as nimble as a MINI Cooper, but it is direct, accurate and highly entertaining. Its only curvy road hinderance is a hefty A-pillar design, which can (and did) block a Freightliner in a tight switchback on California's glassy-smooth Highway 74.

Still, it's hard to imagine a more polished and genuinely enjoyable full-size performance sedan anywhere near this price point.

Leftlane's bottom line
It may lack the styling punch of the soft Impala, but the new Chevrolet SS is a real winner for enthusiasts clamoring for what is essentially a four-door Camaro SS that's a little lighter on swagger.

All hail the new American muscle sedan.

2014 Chevrolet SS base price, $44,470.
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Old 12-06-2013, 10:29 AM   #197
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:18 PM   #198
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King T do you think the SS is worth the costs? I really wanted one, but the price became the hurdle. I can afford it, just didn't want to..
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:32 PM   #199
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King T do you think the SS is worth the costs? I really wanted one, but the price became the hurdle. I can afford it, just didn't want to..
IMO the price of the SS is equal to the price of a Camaro SS fully optioned out. One has two doors and the other has four. Performance wise, the SS should out perform the L99 and LS3 Camaros but with a much nicer interior.
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:34 PM   #200
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Another nice review ...

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Old 12-06-2013, 12:54 PM   #201
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The Malibu looks way better to me , especially the rear. I wish the Malibu came with a V8. I would get a Charger over this . If I was looking at a 4 door with a V8.
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Old 12-06-2013, 01:53 PM   #202
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The Malibu looks way better to me , especially the rear. I wish the Malibu came with a V8. I would get a Charger over this . If I was looking at a 4 door with a V8.
Guess it's just an age thing, this car is aimed for the older and more mature crowd. To me the Charger looks like a large mouth bass ...
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Old 12-06-2013, 03:46 PM   #203
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Guess it's just an age thing, this car is aimed for the older and more mature crowd. To me the Charger looks like a large mouth bass ...
Nope, not just an age thing. Im 30 and even though the Charger has the price point down pat, I just wont buy one. I've driven them probably 10 times but just cant pull the trigger even though I really, really, really want to like the R/T.
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Old 12-06-2013, 04:09 PM   #204
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Guess it's just an age thing, this car is aimed for the older and more mature crowd. To me the Charger looks like a large mouth bass ...
What is mature about the Chevy SS looks? And I agree the GTR look is horrible but that's why I wouldn't get the SRT or I would paint the middle front bumper piece. I actually like the 2006 to 2010 chargers way more look wise.
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